In 2013 a former friend allowed me to use their line of credit with a furniture company to purchase furniture. We had a written agreement that monthly payments would be made to the furniture company directly via their website. I have upheld the agreement and have paid on time every month. The former friend and I have not spoken in a year but I recently received a message that he wanted to transfer the debt to a personal account and that I would need to draw up a contract to pay him monthly. I refused and reiterated that our agreement clearly stated that payments were to be made directly to the furniture company via their website. He then gave me two options to pay it off to the furniture company: in full that day or pay half that day, half the next month. Otherwise he would demand that I pay him. After much back and forth via text messages I informed him that I would look into paying it off instead of having to deal with him on a monthly basis. To avoid further interaction I scheduled a payment in full to the furniture for a week later (when I thought the funds would be available). My last message to him was that it had been scheduled for the following week and that I had blocked his number so any further correspondence wouldn't be received. I ended up receiving my expected money earlier and logged into the account to pay it off and it appears that he transferred the balance anyway and my scheduled payment will not go through since the balance is now zero. Would I have any recourse if he tried to take me to civil court? Could this be considered a gift since I did not agree to his new terms and he essentially refused my payment? If he could sue, and although it's petty, I would almost rather return give him back some of the furniture instead of pay him personally. Is that an option?
1 Answer from Attorneys
I would print out that the account balance is now zero, as well as print out a statement of your account showing you had the funds to make the payment in full. Ensure those documents are dated the same date. I would then print out some (or preferably all of the text messages). Your friend tried to unilaterally change the terms of the contract. I would have an attorney review the written contract and review the txts etc with you to further direct you, as that may very well dictate the legal advice that best serves you.